Fantasy Football 2019: QB, RB, WR, TE Rankings and Top Sleepers

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistAugust 24, 2019

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) looks for a receiver during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
Ed Zurga/Associated Press

With the 2019 NFL season set to start as soon as September 5, time is running out to for you to settle on your top fantasy draft targets.

Ideally, you will be drafting some time after the end of preseason Week 3. This is when the top portions of rosters should be settled and when we will have more clarity on the statuses of players like Ezekiel Elliott, Melvin Gordon and Andrew Luck.

There's a big difference, however, between knowing who is likely to suit up in Week 1 and knowing which players you want leading your fantasy team. To help with the second goal, we're here to examine the top quarterbacks, running backs, receivers and tight ends.

We will also examine some of the top sleepers for 2019—you know, in case you need a mid-round backup plan for one of the guys who could miss a week or two to start the season.

All rankings are based on points-per-reception (PPR) scoring.


2019 Fantasy Football Rankings


1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

2. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans

3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

4. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

5. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles

6. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns

7. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams

8. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

9. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

10. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

11. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

12. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens


Running Backs

1. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

2. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

3. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

4. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

5. James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers

6. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

7. Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers

8. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

9. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals

10. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams

11. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

12. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

13. Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions

14. Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts

15. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons

16. Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars

17. Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders

18. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

19. Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks

20. Sony Michel, New England Patriots


Wide Receivers

1. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans

2. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers

3. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons

4. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints

5. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers

6. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

7. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

8. Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns

9. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers

10. Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings

11. Antonio Brown, Oakland Raiders

12. Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings

13. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts

14. Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys

15. Brandin Cooks, Los Angeles Rams

16. Julian Edelman, New England Patriots

17. Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions

18. Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams

19. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks

20. Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals


Tight Ends

1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

2. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

3. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles

4. O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5. Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers

6. Evan Engram, New York Giants

7. Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints

8. Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers

9. Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts

10. David Njoku, Cleveland Browns


2019 Fantasy Sleepers

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

Nobody in the NFL is going to sleep on Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger  He has two Super Bowl titles on his resume and leads a team that is almost always in the thick of the playoff race. In fantasy circles, however, Big Ben has lost a lot of his luster.

This is partially due to the departures of Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. However, the Steelers proved last season that they have a capable back in James Conner. They should have little trouble with JuJu Smith-Schuster making the jump to the No. 1 receiver role.

In many ways, Roethlisberger may have a better supporting cast than he had in 2018—a year in which he led the NFL with 5,129 yards passing.

Yes, Brown is gone, but Pittsburgh has Smith-Schuster, offseason acquisition Donte Moncrief and second-year man James Washington at wideout. Washington and rookie Diontae Johnson have shone this preseason, averaging 20.3 and 15.3 yards per reception, respectively.

Roethlisberger will also benefit from having Vance McDonald as his pass-catching tight end on a full-time basis. McDonald split time with Jesse James last year and still managed to grab 50 receptions for 610 yards and four scores.

In other words, the Steelers are not hurting for weapons. Yet Roethlisberger's average draft position (ADP) is just 113.8, according to Yahoo Fantasy. Don't be afraid to draft him in Round 8 or 9.


Tyrell Williams, WR, Oakland Raiders

Eric Risberg/Associated Press

Much of the Oakland Raiders' offseason has been focused on wideout Antonio Brown. First, he dealt with an injury to both feet. Then there was the ongoing drama with his preferred helmet. However, Brown's second helmet grievance has been heard by the NFL, he is back practicing with the team and he appears likely to play in Week 1.

That's great news for fantasy managers, but it doesn't mean they should sleep on fellow Raiders wideout Tyrell Williams. Oakland's "other" big free-agent receiver, Williams has the downfield receiving ability needed to mirror Brown as a deep threat.

Last season, Williams caught just 41 passes but averaged an impressive 15.3 yards per catch. He also found the end zone five times. As the Raiders' clear No. 2 receiver, he should be even more productive in 2019.

Williams will be more than just a deep threat in Oakland.

"He can run quick routes and long routes," cornerback Daryl Worley said, per Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle. "He's definitely a high-point guy, always competing for the ball. He's very underrated, but he can do it all."

Williams is poised to break out with a 1,000-yard campaign this season. Yet his ADP of 126.8 has him behind complementary receivers like Michael Gallup, Devin Funchess and Geronimo Allison. You should value Williams higher.


Darwin Thompson, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

For much of the offseason, Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams has been trending as a high draft pick. He still is, if his current ADP of 26.1 is any indication. This is largely due to the success former Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt had in Andy Reid's offense and the fact that Williams has been penciled in as the starter.

However, Reid more recently said that Kansas City is likely to use a committee approach to its backfield.

"I did a little bit of that when I was in Philadelphia, a kind of running-back-by-committee deal and we had some success with it," Reid told SiriusXM NFL Radio. "We'll do that here."

This means that Williams' fantasy value may not be as high as some believe and that fantasy managers should also consider other backs on Kansas City's roster.

For a prime sleeper pick, look no further than rookie sixth-round pick Darwin Thompson. The Utah State product is fast, shifty and has flashed during the preseason.

Thompson leads the Chiefs with 52 yards rushing, which he's amassed on just nine carries.

While Thompson isn't likely to take over as Kansas City's every-down back, he has far more fantasy value than his ADP of 124.7 would suggest.